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Defense: Robidou ‘a cad, not a criminal’

The defense opened it case this morning in the trial of former Blatchley Middle School principal Joe Robidou, accused of sexual assault against three female teachers in his building.

Defense attorney Julie Willoughby described a wild, alcohol-fuelled party culture among the staff at the middle school, with Robidou and his accusers at the front-and-center of it.

“They partied like rock stars,” Willoughby said, referring to the Friday-night gatherings of Blatchley staff, that typically progressed from bar to bar in town.

Other occasions for staff parties, said Willoughby, were after chaperoning student dances, when people went out to decompress.

Willoughby suggested that Robidou’s rough-and-tumble behaviors were more than welcomed by the women at these times, and even led to feelings of vindictiveness and rejection when he moved into the district office in January 2013.

“Mr. Robidou is a cad,” stated Willoughby as she wrapped up her remarks. “He was not always acting like we want a principal to act. They were partying like rock stars. Mr. Robidou owes an apology certainly to his wife, certainly to the people of Sitka, and to the school district. What the evidence is not going to show is that he committed crimes. It was bad behavior — even boorish behavior, but not necessarily a crime.”

Jurors heard testimony from one of the alleged victims this morning (Wed 5-14-14). The trial is expected to continue throughout the week.

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